For the past 4 years or so, the Holland family that started and runs Mulholland Brothers leather goods has been kind enough to loan us a prized family heirloom: a 10′ tall stuffed Alaskan Kodiak.
A little about the bear: he was killed in the mid-1970’s in Alaska, and, at the time, was a Boone & Crockett record. It was featured in an issue of National Geographic in the late 1970’s, and the Holland family was paid $10 for the photograph. They still have never cashed the check, which in today’s dollars, is worth, like, $5,000. He has graced numerous restaurants and public spaces throughout the Bay Area, but we have been lucky enough to have had a monopoly on him since we needed more testosterone in our old warehouse space.
When we moved into our current store in San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center, it was unclear whether he would fit in the store, since the ceilings were only 9 feet high in most spots in the store. Luckily, there were a couple punch-outs where he could fit, and he stood majestically in our side window for the last 21 months.
Now, with the opening of our new space — WINGTIP by On The Fly — we decided to move the bear from our store to the new space. Since the new place is just a block and a half away, we originally intended to roll him over there on a dolly. But Jay Holland, the CEO of Mulholland Brothers, wanted to give him his proper ovation. So he drove his 1956 Ford pickup truck to our store where we loaded the bear into the back, standing up, and proceeded to drive around the Financial District for 15 minutes or more until we parked in front of the new place and showed him to his new home.
You can see some really funny photos of the journey here.